Court Grants Isabell Werth Injunction Against German Federation Chief

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Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW.. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW.. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

MÜNSTER, Germany, Feb. 5, 2014–Isabell Werth on Wednesday obtained a court injunction to prevent the German federation secretary general from making prejudicial statements about how a banned substance could have been in one of the Olympic rider’s horses.

The order by the Land Court in Münster against German FN secretary general Sönke Lauterbach came just days after the agricultural equipment maker Fendt, a €1 million (US$1.35 million) a year sponsor of the country’s dressage, jumping and eventing teams, labeled the federation’s treatment of Isabell “unfair” and demanded charges against her be dismissed immediately.

The case revolves around the drug cimetidine used in the treatment of gastric disorders that was detected in El Santo at a German national competition in 2012.

In hearings that led to a six-month suspension of Isabell that has not been imposed while she appeals, two experts testified that the drug could have been transferred from one horse stall to another horse stall in the barn’s water system.

The federation’s Sönke Lauterbach ina news release criticized the testimony, saying: “The reports described only the technical options available, but they did not look at probability.”

The court said the claim is likely to affect the rider’s case, influence public perception lead to making a pre-judgment of Isabell before the legal process is completed.”